Suggested Topics for FreeCAD videos

Hey folks. I could use your help. Please suggest some topics for future FreeCAD videos so we can continue to learn together.


If you had asked me a couple days ago, I would have said do a video with strategies for getting around FreeCADs issues with doing fillets. Fillets seem to bring FreeCAD to its knees.

If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said a replacement hotend cover for the Ender 3 V2 that accommodates Noctua fans, their buck converters, and an integrated mount for a BL-Touch.

Today I’ve moved on to wanting a Raspberry Pi 4 case that includes an open slot for the Pi Cam ribbon cable and is designed to mount in the slot of a 20x20 extruded rail like used in the Ender and other printers.

But those are probably better-suited for my own learning projects than a general audience tutorial.

What about Ender5’s seat post mounted bag handle hook? That’s something many people would enjoy making for themselves.

Yes, finding a way to re-create the headrest post bag hook (with all the filleting I managed to achieve in F360) in FCAD would be a great tutorial IMHO.

I would suggest a video on supports. How to make them work and easy to remove.

Recently I got several comments on thingiverse where people asked how I got rid of the supports. It even got more crazy as someone printed my caliper printer calibration tool at an 45° angle to be able to print the part without support and just have support underneath. Some other guy made a version which can be printed in two pieces to avoid supports. I printed around 12 of them, flat and with support and never even though about the support I was using. I just removed it in less than 15 seconds.

So my topics are:

a) calibrate a printer and setup a slicer correctly to get nice and easy removable supports.
b) when printing without supports is saving plastic and when it does not. (I am sure the redesigned calibration tool is wasting plastic as the minimal used supports get replaced by walls and screw hole walls of the new surfaces, when printed as box and lid.)
c) printing without support became a new religion. People spend hours to make a simple print support less or a design takes longer to create as support related print-ability is effecting the design itself.


My model: 3D Printer XYZ Step Calibration Tool (Customizable) by geit_de - Thingiverse
Remix without support: 3D Printer XYZ E-Step Calibration Tool - NO SUPPORTS by maco2229 - Thingiverse

When reading the comments you will see more people struggle to remove support for some reason. I never had any issues with removing supports with in seconds.

It is even the other way around. To avoid bending and lifting I print ABS on 3mm supports with brim instead of a raft, because it is way faster, takes less materials and eats any bed adhesion issues that come with ABS. Since the brim is on the support ifself I don´t even need to remove that as it is part of my support.

I would rather print with supports as risking a failed print, which is wasting a hell lot more of plastic and time.

To stretch that even further: I did not change any settings in Cura (beside temperature, cooling and the brim around support option (not sure if ZigZack was the default support pattern)). It just works with all my printers out of the box, so my guess is that people have over extrusion, so the support just glues onto their part or they tinkered at the wrong places in their slicers.

A third kind of intermix topic is the general need of support and the “religion” of avoiding that at any costs. I covered it in a topic here already at the drvax forum.

Excellent suggestions. Right now I am creating a series of videos about designing and 3d printing a travel chess set and board in FreeCAD with parametric design so you can easily resize the pieces.

Based on other posts I have read many of the forum contributors are much more advanced CAD users than me. My contribution is just explaining things in a way that makes it easier for novices to use these tools. This is consistent with my goals for this forum. I hoped to create a place where I could learn from my viewers, build a community of makers, and then communicate what I learn on the channel.

Another goal for this forum and my YouTube channel are that most if not all DrVax content are free. I will be adding more content over time that is available to registered forum users at no cost. For example FreeCAD models, STL files, and printer profiles. YouTube advertising and affiliate links provide me with the income to pay for the DrVax website hosting, vBulletin for hosting this forum, and for supplies and devices I talk about on the channel.

Since you can skip ads and have no obligation to use affiliate links I think I have found a way to support DrVax that is fair to everyone. I am interested in folk’s observations about this economic model.

Your videos are the first I saw on FreeCAD and got me interested in actually using it, so good work there! I think you can definitely fill a niche with some well-produced videos that are good for novices and then progress at a good pace. There aren’t many good tutorials out there tbh, I had to do a patchwork of things that I found useful.

I think a good subject to look at is how to design useful parts that are supposed to fit together, so something with multiple bodies. You can talk about how to make holes for fasteners like screws, and how to make parts fit together with tolerances for example. Maybe it’s a case or a box for something, or any other useful device really. Also, if you could introduce dynamic data at some point, that would be great. I’ve started to use it instead of spreadsheets, and they work quite well.

Not really a topic, but I think it’s worth pointing out to newbies that print-in-place multi-part models don’t necessarily have to print perfectly. It’s OK to design a model with small connector bits that hold the pieces in place while printing and then break them loose after the print is complete.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be doing a set of videos that will include hinges and other multiple part strategies. Thanks for sharing.

Irv, fyi, my son just turned 9 & he & I both enjoy your videos…they are exactly what we needed to quickly translate our computer skills to FreeCAD in a fun way…your FreeCAD video series made it very clear in a short time how CAD bodies, sketches, padding, etc. worked that I had not been able to figure out on my own. Thanks!

I (and probably a lot of other folks) could sure use some guidance on creating arrays in FreeCad. The FreeCad forums are just to “geeky” for us non-techies and trying to self-teach arrays (particularly polar arrays) is painfully frustrating! A nice long lesson in the Dr. Vax style would be more than wonderful!

Great idea. I will do at least one video on areas.

Look for a new video on spreadsheets, parametric design and sketcher in the next few days. Specifically I will be designing a marble maze.

Great! I’ll be looking for it! Hoping you’ll teach us how to do polar arrays soon so I can design things such as coins with ridges on the edge, toy car wheels, checkers pieces that stack with those nice ridges around the perimeter, even petals on flowers. Thanks Irv!

When you mention Polar Arrays I think of the Aurore Borealis. I don’t think that is quite what you meant.

Ya think??? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Yeah, “polar arrays” like that are best left in God’s hands; I’ll be happy with just a little plastic gear!?

Whoever’s hands they’re in, I’m comforted to know that Northern Lights are a good indication that the magnetic field of the planet is still working, and the Van Allen Belts are still there.

We used to often see the Northern lights in Saskatchewan but in Montreal you rarely even see the moon let alone stars.

Irv, @Geit just posted about issues with FreeCAD’s Addon mechanism, which he says often breaks because Microsoft makes some change that’s incompatible with it. He says the only solution for the end user is to download & install Addons manually. So, how 'bout a video on How to Manually Download & Install FreeCAD Addons?

Although I have not ventured into Freecad yet I am wondering what effect this has on mac users.